Robert Morris University

RMU Climbs the Charts in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

The university rose overall and in most key individual measurements.

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Robert Morris University had among the biggest increases of all national universities in the U.S. News and World Report annual "Best Colleges" rankings released, rising 12 spots to No. 176.

Besides the overall increase, RMU's scores were also higher for its first-year retention rate, its graduation rate, its share of small classes with fewer than 20 students, and its perception among presidents and other top officials at peer institutions, compared to RMU's debut last year in the list of the country's 300 national universities.

The 12-point overall jump was the most among Pennsylvania's 13 universities on the list, including Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Pitt, Villanova, Penn and Duquesne.

"We're pleased to see RMU's growing reputation reflected in the latest national university rankings," said RMU President Chris Howard. "Even more impressive is that our graduation and retention rates also are rising. Those are the numbers on which universities ultimately ought to be judged."

Other factors U.S. News takes into account are per-student spending, faculty resources, alumni giving and the reputation of each university as measured by nationwide surveys among peer institutions and high school guidance counselors.

RMU also appears on the U.S. News list of national universities with the most international students. Twelve percent of RMU undergraduates are from other countries, the same as two other Pennsylvania schools on the list, Penn State and Penn. Two had more: CMU (23 percent) and Drexel (13 percent).

Last year the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education reclassified RMU from a master’s university to a doctoral university, based on the number of doctoral degrees the university awards each year. Because of that change, U.S. News and World Report, which categorizes institutions based on the Carnegie Classification system, moved RMU up last year into the national rankings, where previously it had ranked RMU among regional master's universities in the North.